One of my top five "most wanted" flix finally gets released in the U.S!!!
While it's too soon to comment on the quality of the DVD, allow me to try to sell you on the flick itself...
Brought to you by Geoff Wright, the writer/director of ROMPER STOMPER, this film, like its notorious predecessor, traces the troubled lives of a group of working class Aussie teens. However, unlike the racist skinheads of the earlier movie (which is excellent in its own right), the kids in METAL SKIN are far more relatable. They're just bored, broke teens looking for some kicks, looking to get laid, looking to fall in love, and, above all else, looking for a car that will kick-ass in the illegal drag races that make up the Friday night social scene in their town.
Part of the beauty of this film is the way it introduces a quartet of standard-issue characters and then proceeds to blow away all of your pre-conceived, BREAKFAST CLUB-like notions of what's supposed to happen to them. There's Joe, the loveable loser who just wants to fit in; Dazey, the handsome, but selfish, stud for whom everything comes so easy; Savina, the misguided Goth chick who hopes to overcome her insecurities by dabbling in witchcraft; and finally, Roslyn, the beautiful girl who has it all. Or so it would seem.
We all know how things would turn out for these characters in any other movie -- the good kids would triumph, the bad kids would get knocked down a peg or two, and everyone would learn a valuable lesson -- but Wright forces you to constantly re-evaluate your impression of who's good and who's bad in this flick, until the designations themselves dissipate into nothingness, like exhaust fumes in the chill night air.
As with ROMPER STOMPER, the end result is brutal, poignant and totally unpredictable.
I saw this film as part of a double-bill with ROMPER STOMPER at a film festival about 7 years ago and haven't been able to get it out of my head since, at least in part because it's been impossible to see since that time. Never released in the U.S., this film is equally obscure in its native Australia. From the articles I've read about it, the film was an infamous flop Down Under, playing a one-week run in a few select cities before being chased off the screen by vicious reviews and disappointing attendance.
That's a damn shame, as this film packs one hell of wallop! Thank you, Pathfinder, for giving METAL SKIN a second chance at finding its audience. I know that I can't wait to finally see it again!!